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HomeNewsRCMP suspend search for man swept away in Kootenay River

RCMP suspend search for man swept away in Kootenay River

RCMP have released details about a tragic incident near Canal Flats on Thursday, where a man is presumed drowned after attempting to rescue his dog from the Kootenay River.

Search and Rescue crews and RCMP officially called off the search after multiple attempts to find and locate the 43-year-old man from Edmonton, AB.

The victim was reportedly walking around a sand bar in the river when his dog became caught up in the river’s current when it attempted to swim over to him, said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, spokesperson for the BC RCMP Southeast District. The victim tried to reach his dog, when he suddenly lost his footing, fell into the water and failed to resurface. The family’s dog survived and managed to swim back to shore.

RCMP said they first got reports of the incident on Thursday, July 30th, just before 3:30 pm. Police said the man was recreating with his family in the Canal Flats area when the tragic incident unfolded.

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Search and Rescue crews were immediately called to support a search for the man, while an aerial search was also conducted along the river banks by both the RCMP Police Dog Service and Search and Rescue technicians.

The search was resumed Friday by both the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team and RCMP divers, while Search and Rescue continued their efforts.

“All possible efforts to safely locate and rescue the 43-year-old Edmonton man, have been exhausted,” said RCMP. “The difficult decision to suspend the search has been made in consultation with Search and Rescue experts, swift water rescue technicians and RCMP divers.”

Water levels will continue to be monitored periodically, while shoreline and aerial searches will continue as conditions permit in hopes of locating the man’s body.

I’m extremely grateful to all the agencies and local residents who supported our search efforts, including Columbia Valley SAR, Kimberly SAR, the Cranbrook SAR search dog, the Canal Flats Fire Department, BC Emergency Health Services, Coldstream Helicopters and our very own RCMP Victim Services, said Sgt. Darren Kakuno, Detachment Commander of the Columbia Valley RCMP. Our search to date has involved twenty swift water SAR technicians, three jet boats, a police dog team, a SAR dog team, an unmanned aerial vehicle, underwater rovers and cameras, a helicopter and the RCMP’s dive team. Local residents continued to drop off food and water for searchers, which was greatly appreciated.

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